MG4A8      Half Unit
Strategy for the Information Economy

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jorn Rothe


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Management and Strategy and MSc in Risk and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Basic knowledge of economics.

Course content

The internet has created many new market opportunities. Web-based technology allows for new kinds of market interactions and products. Understanding the design and functioning of these new markets is central for business strategy. This course develops the relevant economic principles and applies them to the formulation of strategies for the provision of information goods and the competition between  online market platforms.

The first part of the course is concerned with strategic aspects of the provision of information goods (such as music, software, product reviews, search results). Topics include the pricing of information goods, versioning, switching costs lock-ins, standards and network effects, and the strategic competition in platform markets.. The second part focuses on the design and application of online auctions in market design for e-commerce, in particular Google’s use of auctions in search-based advertising. The course provides a theoretical background and relates theory to various examples and case-studies.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with Departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Two exercise sets with a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions. 

Indicative reading

Hal R. Varian: Intermediate Microeconomics, W.W.Norton, 2014 (selected chapters); Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian: Information Rules, HBS Press, 1999 (selected chapters). A detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: 44

Average class size 2019/20: 16

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills